Are Macs really overpriced? The PC-Mac price gap is shrinking

I recently switched over to a MacBook Pro after being a PC guy my entire life. Before my MacBook, I had only custom-built Windows machines in my possession. A lot of my close PC friends couldn’t believe  that I shelled out so much money for an “overpriced” computer. However, to my discovery, the large price gap that exists between a PC and a Mac has been shrinking and I believe it’s still going to shrink to the point where PCs and Macs will cost the same or at least very close to the same, especially because of where the industry is heading.

It wasn’t long ago when you could find a MacBook that was priced at an easy $1,300 and a comparable Windows laptop that cost half that. However, that was then and it’s 2012 now. Things have changed drastically.

Let’s start with a normal 15-inch laptop:

Obviously I’m not making much of a case here. The HP has more RAM and better graphics with a lower price tag. However, the price gap isn’t greatly significant.

Let’s look at all-in-one machines next:

This is a little better, but the HP Omni has better graphics and twice the HDD, but the difference in price is very small.

Now here’s where it gets very interesting. Let’s look at some thin-and-light laptops:

The Samsung has a slower processor and is the same price as the MacBook Air.

Let’s now move up to a bigger screen, thus more room for a faster machine:

Almost identical specs, but the Lenovo is $200 more than the MacBook Air.

Interesting, huh? Ultrabooks are the same price (sometimes more) as the MacBook Air, and this is where the industry is going. Expect to see thin-and-light laptops make a huge impact, and unless PC manufacturers can find cheaper ways to manufacture them, the price gap between PCs and Macs will only shrink.

Note: All prices and configurations were taken from the manufacturers’ own websites.

  • Woooow, that’s amazing.
    Some manufacturers suck so much that they are more pricey than Apple.
    So what? There are still others out there with better prices and better performances.
    Let’s look at this for example, regarding the last comparison.
    Same processor, same RAM, better SSD, and 100$ less!
    http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1577293&CatId=4938
    And it’s just one computer among many others in the same price range.

    Oh and btw, 999 != 955.
    You seem to fail at distinguishing 9 and 5.

    So sorry, but no. This article is plain wrong and is not correct from a journalistic point of view. You don’t use several computers, and you don’t eve say where you got those prices. Ridiculous.

  • Jake Joraanstad

    Nice post, very good point about the future of the industry.

  • The gap isn’t decreasing the manufactures are creating pricier models because they think more consumers want an “apple competitor”  and therefore they are taking on a higher price tag. The difference being the same as always, in terms of overall cost for the parts any of these machines is carrying a much higher overheard than what the actual parts cost.

    I’m not sure where you got those prices at. The Envy as equipped is listed on HP’s site $200 cheaper than that and the Omni is only about $700-800

  • It’s not as clear cut & dry as that.  Macbooks are expensive period.  After everyone sees what kind of conditions Foxconn’s workers are in, non-mac fanboys will think twice before buying one.  Personally, I don’t like Macs, iPods, iPhones etc.  I think they’re cheaply made.  I’m not a Windows fan, but I don’t mind replacing individual parts when they fail.  It’s still lot more cost effective.  Some of these computers are including software, updates, etc., as well so we really can’t compare the two until we get down to that.

    • You do realize most Windows PCs are also made by Foxconn or in similar factories don’t you? Don’t be a hypocrite… Plus..Apple has done way more to improve conditions of someone elses company because of the visibility and bleeding heart AMericans that believe we need to “fix” other countries… guess what, they don’t want our “fix”.

  • Sophronis

    Plus the macs are better looking and have longer battery life.  I think my next computer will be a mac as well!!  Thanks for doing the comparison.  

  • Sophronis

    Plus the macs are better looking and have longer battery life.  I think my next computer will be a mac as well!!  Thanks for doing the comparison.  

  • In terms of ultrabooks these are comparable to Macbooks, but the price of the former will comes down considerably over the next few years. And you can still get decent laptops and desktops for a lot cheaper than their Apple equivalents.

    There will always be a Mac premium, Apple wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • In terms of ultrabooks these are comparable to Macbooks, but the price of the former will comes down considerably over the next few years. And you can still get decent laptops and desktops for a lot cheaper than their Apple equivalents.

    There will always be a Mac premium, Apple wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • slamsteel

    Pointless comments. Probably Windows fans and Apple haters or vice versa.
    When you buy a Macbook Pro : You pay for the QUALITY,NAME AND THE OS.
    When you buy a Windows laptop(Like HP Envy): You pay for the BETTER HARDWARE and the OS.Why? Because HP Envy is more like a Macbook Pro like? A competitor? And it’s disappointing. Because PC manufacturers now adays cannot make their own designs.Let’s talk about the OS of Macbook Pros and Windows laptops.
    OS X – NOT Virus-free(you can install your own antivirus).Fast(sleep/wake)Slow at startup depending at the age of your Macbook(My 2007 windows laptop beats my 2008 Macbook at startup, So yeah).And has awesome multitouching capabilities and reliable as well.
    Windows – NOT Virus-free(obviously you know that).Hardly fast(sleep/wake) Medium-fast speed at startup.Many compatible games and apps.etc.
    At multitouching capabilities. MAC OS X is the winner.
    At compatible apps and games : Windows is the winner.
    Better quality? = I cannot decide. Maybe both. I like the HP Envy and Macbook PRO.
    Better design = Apple? I hate those manufacturer stickers etc.I also hate the Wireless/HDD indicator.Annoying at night.

    I love Windows and Mac OS X. If i weren’t using a Macbook today.
    I’ll be using a HP 6910P Business Laptop.Why? I don’t want to have those i7 processors and massively powerful graphic chips. I want to be simple.
    Like the old days.(2007-2009)

  • The latest Macbook pro price is $2,199.00. Guess what, I can buy a superbike with that price in my country.

  • Raj Brar

    Hey here is another apple user justifying his purchase of overpriced inferior hardware. With apple you are buying into their liftstyle. The Pc, you get free air, choice choice choice. Thank god not everyone has a mac

  • Shahnewaz Maqbul Ahmed

    The Radeon graphics comparisons aren’t accurate; and discrete graphics chips are expensive.

  • Tony

    The extra Mac price is for iMovie and Final Cut Pro(Sony Vegas Pro for >600$CAN) Pages, Numbers(Microsoft Excel and Word for 175$CAN)

    So you get what you paid for